Teacher Tools: Setting Goals & Tracking Student Progress (March 2017 Update)

goal-settingIn March 2017, we will make some changes to how teachers set goals and students track progress on EnglishCentral.

Please use the summary below as a guide as you draft your syllabus and use our teacher tools to set goals for students and track their progress through our reports:


  1. Students can view class progress from their mobile devices

Another request from teachers was to make student progress available on their mobile devices. This release includes a new My Classes on the app that shows student progress across all goals.



  1. Learn/Quiz Progress

We have received requests from many teachers to track students progress in Learn Mode as part of the overall word study on EnglishCentral. With this new release, students will get “Learn Progress” for any word they successfully complete in learn mode or in a vocab quiz. This allows teachers to set word study goals that cover both the word typing cloze activity in Learning Mode as well as the definition matching quiz in Quiz Mode.

Because our hope is to help students retain knowledge of the words they are studying in their long-term memory, Time Interval Learning will continue to drive how words are studied on EnglishCentral. Students can make progress on words only after the applicable time interval has elapsed.


Therefore, Time Interval Learning constraints prevents a student, for instance, from getting credit for studying the same word five times in one day. On the other hand, it does give students credit for learning the same word after the applicable time interval has lapsed. In this way, the system encourages review and multiple exposure to words.


  1. Speak Lines

Listening to feedback from teachers, we have concluded that the number of lines students speak is the best measure of student’s speaking output.  As a result, we are introducing Spoken Lines as the key new metric for setting Speaking goals and measuring progress.  We count only unique lines, so while students are encouraged to speak lines multiple times to improve their video speaking grade, only the final instance of the line will be counted towards their line  goal. We recommend setting a goal of 50 lines per week (this is now the default), which is equivalent to approximately one hour of study time. You can, of course, increase or decrease the number of lines for the goal, depending on the needs of your students or your curriculum.

For classes created before the release that had Speak Points set as a Goal, students will get credit for 1 Speak Line for each 30 points then earned.

For these classes that had Spoken Videos set as a goal, we have kept that metric for a transition period both in the teacher and students’ view. Any new classes created will use the Speak Line goal.

Note: on the question of assessing student’s speaking ability, we will continue to use the concept of Speaking Grades (A to F).    Currently,  grades can be reviewed only on a video by video basis.  In a future release, we plan to allow teachers to see students grades across all final lines spoken by the student over any teacher defined period of time.


  1. GoLive Tutoring.

Teachers that are using our Premium GoLive! Product that include 1:1 tutoring (“GoLive!) can now set goals for numbers of tutor sessions in the Teacher Tools. Note this only applies to teachers who are using our Premium Product (see Plans for more details). For most teachers using our Academic Product, they will not see any setting for GoLive! in the goal setting interface.


  1. Looking forward to the new changes. Do you have a date for the update? Thanks.

    • Hi Kevin,

      Actually you should see all these changes on the site right now unless indicated otherwise. Please check them out and look forward to any feedback you might have.

  2. Reblogged this on Halina's Thoughts and commented:
    Thank you very much for an excellent material.

  3. Valery Bobov says:

    Please let us use Speak Points as a metric for our students’ quality of work again. How can I assign the expected quality of speaking otherwise? Without this measure students are not motivated to improve the quality of speaking.

    • Hi Valery, Thanks for contacting us about this. Yes, we’ve changed the goal criteria to motivate students. Now students try to record X number of lines to complete their teacher/school assigned tasks. However, you can still as a teacher in your reports see how many points students have achieved when you download the excel report for the class. Make sure to check you have the correct filter (only class / all activity) and date range. You’ll see in column F the amount of speak points earned by a student. Also in the listen in report, you can see their grade for any video. I suggest, you set a # of lines goal X 15 points to equal the equivalent of what you had previously been listing as the speak points goal. Ex. I set 1,500 speak points as a goal. So set 100 lines as a goal. But you can still grade based on those point totals through your excel report Divide the speak points / the number of lines spoken to get a qualitative value. Then, compare your students.

      • Valery Bobov says:

        Hi David,
        Thank you for the response. I have been teaching for more than 20 years. I have been using the englishcentral.com wonderful functionality since its inception several years ago. The Speak Point metric has worked effectively and proved to be a stable motivational tool for my students. How can the number of Lines Spoken motivate students to improve their speaking quality? Do you care about the quality of our students’ work? Sometimes students just murmur something incomprehensible into the microphone just to make sure a line is spoken, even if they don’t even get a C for the quality of speaking. Is this what makes us, teachers, happy? I cry at this thought.

        Yes, the Speak Points are available for both students and teachers, but in a way that doesn’t make it possible to instrumentally use them. Yes, I can use the excel report and see the Speak Points. Then what shall I do with the data? Just to know that the quality of the Lines Spoken is frustratingly low? Why should student care about the quality if it doesn’t count? What motivational theory would explain the students motivation based on an irrelevant idicator?

        Unfortunaltely, your suggestion to assign an arbitrary value to a line in an attempt to somehow refer to Speak Points doesn’t do its work to make students care about gettting as many Speak Points as possible from a particular line. This approach doesn’t correct the fault: students do not have to strive for excellence, just simulating English speech happens to be enough to complete a task.

        On the other hand, let’s imagine a student that completed 300 lines with 12000 Speak Points and another student who completed the same 300 lines with 5000 or even 9000 Speak Points. Are they both equally successful in practicing? According to the new metric yes, but it just doesn’t make sense to me. The first one is way more diligent or hard-working or successful. Wouldn’t you agree?

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